The IDF on Sunday deployed Iron Dome batteries in Sderot, two days after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck the city.
Conflicting reports said either one or two batteries were dispatched near the towns of Netivot and Sderot, days after a battery was also sent to Ashdod.
The anti-missile batteries should be able to protect the southern towns, just miles from the border of the Gaza Strip, from potential projectiles fired from the Palestinian enclave.
On Friday night a Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket at Sderot. There were no injuries reported in the attack, but there was some damage to property, and several people needed treatment for shock. Later Friday, Iron Dome intercepted a second rocket over Ashkelon.
A Palestinian Salafist group affiliated with the Islamic State took responsibility for the rocket attacks. The Sheikh Omar Hadid Brigade has claimed a number of rocket attacks against Israel this year in defiance of Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
A bus was hit in the Sderot strike, and a home was also damaged. The residents were inside at the time of the strike, Ynet said, adding that several people were treated at the scene for shock. One woman was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after complaining of chest pains and ringing in her ears, the website reported.
Sderot’s mayor said Sunday that the site where the bus was damaged by rocket fire would be turned into a public park in defiance of the violence. Mayor Alon Davidi said in a statement that the park would serve “to demonstrate the victory of spirit of the Jewish people as a whole and of the residents of Sderot and the Gaza periphery in particular.”
A spate of rock-throwing incidents took place Sunday evening targeting Israeli vehicles in the West Bank, after a week of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in and around Jerusalem.
On Route 443 northwest of Jerusalem, Palestinians threw stones at passing motorists, damaging three cars.
Stones were also thrown at Israeli drivers on Route 60 near the Beit Anun intersection near Hebron, in the southern West Bank.
Egged bus No. 149 was pelted with rocks and paint between Hizma and Anatot north of Jerusalem, but no injuries or physical damage to the bus were reported.
On Sunday, the Israel Police said they had arrested 39 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for “disturbing the peace,” “taking part in riots” and “throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.”
Israel has vowed to crack down on Palestinians hurling stones and firebombs in Jerusalem and across the West Bank after a week of violence in the capital and on the Temple Mount, which began last Sunday when police — acting on information from the Shin Bet security service — raided the compound and found pipe bombs and other improvised weapons, apparently prepared in advance for an organized riot.